Bratislava, March 6 (CTK) – Slovakia received in 2013 information from the Italian authorities about the contacts of mafia with Italian businessman Antonino Vadala, about whom murdered Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak was writing, the Aktuality.sk portal, for which Kuciak worked, has written.
Interior Minister Robert Kalinak claimed at the weekend that the Italian authorities had not cooperated with Slovak officials well.
Kalinak told the parliamentary security commission today that Italian authorities had not sent any information related to the Vadala case to Slovakia on their own initiative.
He said the Slovak police launched over 70 proceedings against entrepreneurs about which Kuciak wrote. In five recent cases, the police proposed that corruption charges be filed, Kalinak said.
“In 2013, detailed reports from Rome on the Vadala clan were delivered to Slovakia. They included the key information about his regular meetings with mafia bosses in his native Calabria,” Aktuality.sk said, referring to the correspondence between the Slovak embassy in Rome and the Italian Anti-Mafia Investigation Directorate (DIA).
In his last, unfinished article, Kuciak described the activities of Italian businesspeople, including Vadala, linked to mafia in eastern Slovakia, and also their alleged ties with close aides to Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-Social Democracy). Fico’s assistant Maria Troskova and National Security Council secretary Viliam Jasan left their posts pending the closure of the investigation.
The police detained Vadala and another six Italians within the investigation into the murder of Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova, who were shot dead in their house in Velka Maca village, west Slovakia, in late February, but all of them were released later.
Vadala dismissed the allegation that he had links to the mafia and that he gained millions of euros in agricultural subsidies from EU funds thanks to political contacts.
He told daily Korzar the case was fabricated by the Slovak political opposition that sought the fall of Fico’s government.
Vadala also presented documents from Italian authorities in which listed members of the Vadala clan including Antonino Vadala, but the date of birth of the man was different from his.
Czech investigative journalist Pavla Holcova, with whom Kuciak cooperated, told topky.sk portal that when they were in contact for the last time Kuciak told her he revealed a new connection between Italian entrepreneurs and further politicians of Smer-Social Democracy.
The Slovak media, Sme daily and Markiza TV, have questioned the professional qualities of the physician who did the post-mortem examination of the bodies of Kuciak and his fiancee.
It was neither a coroner nor a medical examiner, but a pathologist who is lecturing histology, Markiza reported. This fact might make it difficult to set the exact time of the death and find out other circumstances of the murder, the TV added.
The police have not yet released details of the double murder. The bodies were found on Sunday night, February 25. According to the document of the physician, the couple died two days earlier, that was on Friday, February 23.
The family of Kuciak’s fiancee was not able to contact her from February 21. The police used this date in their call on drivers to store data from the security cameras in their cars if they were driving in the surroundings of the scene of the murder.